Epic Road Trip (Day 26: September 18, 2016)

We woke up this morning from our 17th (or 18th hotel-I’m not really sure since when I count the hotels on my itinerary I get 18 but when I look at my tally sheet I get 17). We were well aware of the time change last night and were all laying in bed by 10 last night-or maybe we were just a bit on the tired side. Robby and I started waking up around 6:30 this morning but laid in bed for a good while. I think that we had gone back to sleep when I later saw Campbell approaching our bed completely dressed She was asking for her ipad so I did let her have it in hopes that the other sleepy Dennies could get a few more minutes of sleep.

It didn’t take too long for us to get ourselves dressed and downstairs for breakfast. This was the smallest of breakfasts that we have seen so far (now tomorrow’s breakfast will be really small back in reality.) Reagan was happy that they had cups of fruit and Anderson was pleased with the vanilla yogurt that no one else has had-except Campbell grabbed the last one when she arrived at breakfast first with me.

Once we were in the car, the gps headed us in some crazy direction and I was briefly convinced that we were going home via the Natchez Trace. The GPS must know what she is doing but she does take us the scenic route often but does seem to get us where we are going.  

It didn’t take too long for the weather to turn a bit ugly and began raining. I had seen that it probably would start raining on the way home but gracious, when it started raining it really did. We listened to the church service (only turning it down to yell at the kids :) ), finished the last of school work and tried to download the Sunday paper from home as we drove down the road towards home.

The sun did come out and we started to plan our next big road trip. We didn’t get very far before we decided that snacks would be more fun. We finally downloaded the paper and were able to see Reagan’s picture in the B section. It is a tiny bit about her getting Miss America’s signature. (click here for article) (Robby has friends at the paper so that helps.)

We stopped in Tupelo for gas and then at Elvis’ birthplace. They have expanded a bit since we were there last. Even though we didn’t do a tour, we did run around the grounds for a bit. It wasn’t too much further away and we hopped on the Natchez Trace. We stopped at the visitor’s center and watched the movie. That is all Anderson can think of when we walk in a place-Do they have a movie and are we going to watch it? Robby commented that soon the kids will care nothing about watching the movies so we better squeeze them all in now.

We had debated picking up lunch somewhere or picnicking but the tables on the Natchez Trace were right there so we decided that we better finish off some more of our trip food. Overall, I realize that I packed too much food-we did eat a lot less cheese and cracker packages on this trip than I had expected. (I had 4 little bins of food that are now empty, 1 snack bin that is half empty, a picnic bin that is also half empty, 2 drawers and only one is now halfway full and a big ice chest full of food that is probably half empty as well)

After we ate and the kids played football some, we climbed into the car and headed on our way back towards reality. The drive was fine until it wasn’t. It quickly became stormy and was raining so hard that it took both of us to drive. The storm lasted for a good few minutes but then the skies brightened. The rain was so heavy at one point that Graham shouted, “what would we do if there is a tornado?” By this time we were driving on a back road (silly GPS) and I told him that I wasn’t sure. Robby whispered to me that we were supposed to get in a ditch. I told him that I could think of nothing much more traumatic to my kids than making them lay down in a ditch during a tornado. Thankfully, we didn’t have to worry about a tornado.

Before too long we were pulling up to Area 51, an ice cream place near Les and Shelley. The boys were quick to see a car that looked like Shelley’s car as we were getting out of our car. They convinced themselves that it wasn’t them but then were so excited to see them and Zach climb out of the car. We ate our ice cream, visited and then we had to get back on the road for home. It was a good last stop on our vacay and did give a few minutes for the rain to clear.

We did forget to make everyone potty before we left the ice cream shop. Robby had just whispered to me that we had forgotten to potty and I replied that we could certainly wait a while. Immediately after we finished this conversation,Keaton hollered that she needed to potty. We made it to the rest stop after the bridge. Keaton must have remembered this stop because she immediately ran to the grass and started doing cartwheels.
As we were leaving the rest stop, we told Whitman that we were going home and he started sobbing. He wanted to go to a hotel and he wanted to go to Grannymom’s hotel. We assume that he means the NYC apartment where Grannymom was. He does refer to that apartment as the ‘big hotel.’ I guess he just has good taste!

From that stop, we zoomed on home. The kids watched Netflix and Robby and I put on headphones and listened to a sermon or two. I do believe that when we had on our headphones no one ever talked to us-or maybe I just couldn’t hear them. We did stop at Taco Bell on the way home so we could have supper. There isn’t a whole lot of food here and we just wanted supper to be done with.

Once we made it home, we all started unloading the car. Robby vacuumed out the car while I worked on putting things up. Everyone helped for a while and then we gave them a break. The boys were thrilled to be outside and Anderson rode down to the neighbor’s house for a bit. Whitman went right upstairs to his train tracks and moved around the house playing with his different toys. He was in the best mood tonight-I guess he was just ready to be home. It is probably hard to be 3 and on a 26 day road trip.

It took until almost 10 to get everything put away but we did it. Now, we do have the kids clean clothes still out and the laundry is washing along with another 4 or 5 loads that need to wash. Dishes are washing and I have at least 2 loads of bins and bags to take to the attic tomorrow. I do have about 4 days worth of going through our souvenirs, ornaments and papers that we collected but that will be accomplished later.

Overall, it was one of the best trips we have taken. We saw so many great sights and made lots of memories. We are all glad to be home but could have traveled for a few more days-maybe next year!

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